age is relative at Wildlife Explorers Base Camp

A weekday outing to the zoo with grandchildren, when work distracts some and morning clouds deter others, was a wonderful time. Who needs Silversneakers when Mamma, Pop-pop, and Gramma spend a couple hours shepherding an almost-four-year-old and his baby sister around the children’s zoo? Exhibits of monkeys, reptiles, amphibians and insects were fascinating, but he was playing alongside kids his size. Splashing in fountains, climbing up, down and around rope tunnels, bridges, stone frogs, chameleons and across “pretend sand” (spongy cork “hills”) were only interrupted for lunch. Chicken strips and an ice cream fortified young and old for the next couple hours. By 2 PM, parents and grandparents headed for the exit, their infants asleep in strollers, and the “thousand-mile stare” of their preschoolers assured a nap forthcoming in the ride home. I think an early bedtime is a grandparent’s reward for a good day with the kids.

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